Fear Not!

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            You can’t spell pandemic without panic. And that’s just what we can’t do. Admittedly, life has changed in 2020. It has been slowed, almost to halt for many, by a particle so small even a bacterium would have to ask ‘What was that?’. The spiky little virus named Corona (or crown from the Latin) is all anyone is talking about. I figured I would too. We were about to post a nice article about the recent activities of our cat Ella; but this may be slightly more relevant. I know that everyone is upset. These are tough times. THE TOILET PAPER IS MISSING! A large number of Americans have been ordered to stay home. We are now relegated to elbow bumping our loved ones instead of the hugs we are all used to. Schools, businesses, and even churches are closed. People are without jobs. Worst of all…. many of us are stuck at home with the kids all day. Oh, the horror! But let’s all take a step back and chill.

            What are you really afraid of? Are you afraid of dying? I’m sorry you’ll have to pick another fear. In the US, as of today there have been less than 30,000 diagnosed cases .009% of the population (by my calculation). Of that, 2 to 3%, according to current estimates (assuming no further advances) will die. Many of those are older or immune compromised. I just had a wellness check with my doctor. He told me that I have a 13% chance of having a heart attack in the next ten years. I’ve never felt better. I guess I’m an optimist. So that means there’s an 87% chance I’ll be fine. When I used to play basketball, I was about a 67% free throw shooter. I would have killed to shoot 87%.

FYI – The number one factor the Dr. used to determine that number, is age….I didn’t need a doctor to tell me I’m getting old…I’ve got my knees and my back for that!

            Are you afraid that this disease will kill an extreme number of people including friends and relatives? Please understand, I value human life very highly. And I’m not saying we are overreacting to this highly virulent stain of flu. However, some steps we are taking, such as social distancing, we probably should have all along. Maybe Howie Mandel has had it right. Just so you know, during the 2018-2019 flu season an estimated 61,200 Americans died of flu related diseases. So far, in this country, this strain has caused around 400. That number will grow. We are, however, taking unprecedented precautions. This will have a positive effect.

            Are you afraid that this is the beginning of the Apocalypse or other end times scenario? Of course, I can’t speak for God, but my guess is, he could do better. From a Biblical point of view, picking us off a couple hundred at a time just isn’t His style. When the dead start coming back to life in search of brains, I may rethink this one.

            Are you afraid we will run out of the essentials of life? Yes, toilet paper is included. Outside of medical supplies, for the most part, the supply chains are intact. Once the hoarders are done, things will slowly return to normal. Aldi was a lot calmer yesterday than a week ago. 

For me, the economic and social hardships are by far the greatest threat, and cause for concern. But we shouldn’t just assume things will continue to get worse. Just like sars (the last big corona virus), Ebola, The Great Flu Epidemic of 1918, or even the Black Plague these things have their season. “This too shall pass.” If fear isn’t dominating your life right now, you have to know that we will survive this. Franklin D. Roosevelt had it right “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

The truth is some good will come out of this. Focus on the good. Pull yourself away or at least limit watching the news. It will probably just depress you. Focus instead on what you can do. If you are going to the store, is there someone in the neighborhood who can’t get out or might need essentials? Maybe they just need to know they are not alone. You could help. Of course, be respectful of personal space and cleanliness. But try to be part of the solution. On a macro scale, realize that, as a country we were woefully unprepared. But because of our current fight, maybe we will adjust our preparations and be better prepared in the future.

Also, take advantage of this time. Aren’t there some chores around the house that you have been putting off forever. Read that book you’ve wanted to finish. Write something. If it ever stops raining it is gardening time. The plants don’t know about corona. I was walking today, and enjoying the budding trees and new spring flowers. Social distancing aside, stay in contact with friends and loved ones. If you are stuck at home with the kids, play some games. Maybe you can end the argument about who is the best at Monopoly once and for all (fat chance). Yesterday, as I walked around Warsaw, and talked to a few people (at a safe distance), they seemed to be doing alright, and were enjoying the outdoors. Even if you are living in a restricted area, like New York or California, there is always the phone or skype. The bottom line is focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t. As for that other thing, do not waste time on fear. Did you know that the Bible say ‘Fear not’ 365 times? That’s one for every day of the year. I think God’s onto something there!

God willing, our next post will be an update about Ella (our cat). She’s not worried. In fact, I think she’s just happy I’m home more these days. Keep your spirits up. Things will get better. I guarantee it.

From Crystal’s Corner

            I agree with Ron that we can’t have the spirit of fear.  We need to have the spirit of faith.  As Ron and I watched the minister and praise team of our church, on the Facebook page today, I felt connected to all the people who were watching this service.  More people were watching than attend our regular services.  We, as Christians, are a church family, and we are together in spirit even if we can’t be together in person.

            When the President and the doctors said on TV that we shouldn’t have more than 10 people together at one time in one place, I thought about the early Christians.  At the time when Christians were being persecuted, they would secretly meet at houses in small groups.  Also, they would put symbols like the drawing of a fish in places, to tell other Christians that they weren’t alone. 

            We are in contact with family and friends, through the Internet, phone calls and sending out cards, letters and through this blog.  If you know someone who is anxious and upset about this challenge, feel free to send them this blog.

            When things were difficult during my childhood, my mom would tell us two things: “This too shall pass. And keep looking up.” I am working on a baby quilt for our newest granddaughter and doing some writing and reading magazines and books.  I am not a statistical person who knows all the numbers, like Ron and other scientists.  I watch the birds at our bird feeder, talk and play with Ella our cat, and thank God every day for His Blessings, which are many. I believe that God will answer our prayers to end this virus.

From my walk yesterday. Assurance that there is still life and beauty in the world.

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